In a design realm where other stair companies fear to tread, Arden excels.
Concrete stair design is one of the most difficult commercial staircase applications, especially when incorporating Arden’s trademark ‘saw-tooth’ design, whereby the zigzag of the tread and riser is mimicked by the support structure below. According to Arden’s own Heinz Peters, the shape of the concrete stairs must first be formed in structural plywood timber. The reinforcing steel is added after the stairs harden.
Despite popular preconceptions of the material, concrete stairs are not limited to one staid visual appearance. By injecting oxide into the initial mixing process, concrete stairs can be colorful. Alternatively, they can be clad in different materials to both enhance their appearance and mask seams from the molding process. Applied creatively, concrete-formed stairs provide a unique sculptured and monolithic impression. Contrasting the substantial volumes of formed concrete treads with glass, steel and timber provides yet more opportunities for creative stair design.
Arden has earned a reputation as an exceptionally astute orchestrator of the complex processes inherent in successfully producing concrete staircases, not only for realising the intricate geometry of the design, but also for developing cost-effective and practical methods of formation and installation. As Heinz explains, many architects look to Arden as “the experts who will fulfill their image” of what they wish to achieve with their visual brief.
Although Arden is currently bidding on a project that uses a more traditional ‘straight-stair’ design, Heinz would not rule out the possibility of Arden tackling future spiral-shaped concrete stair installations. “The more difficult and challenging a project is,” Heinz explains, “the better we like it.”
Published on: 18-Aug-2010. Topic/s: Feature staircase design